Lately, food trends across America have been one of two things: easy to make or made with minimal ingredients. Every recipe headline is something along the lines of "5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheddar Soup" or "The Ultimate One-Pot Pasta Recipe That Only Takes 15 Minutes." In our fast-paced society, we thrive on recipes like these ones.

However, decreasing the time and amount of ingredients involved in a recipe often forces us to sacrifice the quality of the flavors. Too often, following gimmicky recipes results in an underwhelming, bland meal.

However, one-ingredient dulce de leche made from a can of sweetened condensed milk is just as delicious as dulce de leche that requires hours of labor. Dulce de leche literally means "sweets of milk."  With origins in South America, the sweet, caramel-like spread is typically found inside a cake or on top of fruit. The traditional recipe includes milk, sugar, baking soda, and constant attention

While this dulce de leche takes upwards of three hours to develop its rich color and texture, your work is done as soon as it's simmering in the pot. Here's how to make dulce de leche with just one ingredient. 

One-Ingredient Dulce De Leche

  • Prep Time:0
  • Cook Time:3 hrs
  • Total Time:3 hrs
  • Servings:8
  • Easy


  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
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  • Step 1

    Remove the label of the can and place the can on its side in a pot of water. The water should rise up 1-2 inches above the can.

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  • Step 2

    Bring the water in the pot to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the water for 2-3 hours.

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  • Step 3

    Once finished, remove the can from the water with a pair of tongs. Allow the can to cool completely before opening.

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Dulce de leche is a great ingredient to have on hand. Whether you're making traditional Latin American alfajores, baking a dulce de leche-infused tres leches cake, or eating it straight up, you'll be sure to put the can to good use.